Familial hypercholesteroWTF? — thriva journals
At thriva, we believe strongly in the value of having the relevant data to stay on top of your health. As co-founders we’ve committed to sharing our health results, challenges and successes over the coming months. Below is my first entry and set of results — happy reading!
Results from 31/3/2016:
Oh f**k what has happened….
My Health Profile;
- Height; 178 CM
- Weight; 80 KG
- BMI; 25.2
- Age; 24 years old
- Medical history to note; I have familial hypercholesterolaemia (genetically inherited high cholesterol) that I take medication for (Artorvastatin).
Given my health condition I’ve been having regular blood tests since I was 16, although in the last year and a half I’ve put these off. Having an intense job and active social life meant it was easy to let things slip on the health front. I hadn’t bothered to re-register at a Doctor’s surgery closer to where I live in London, which meant getting a pathology request form and visiting a clinic also involved the extra effort of a trip back home to Kent.
In spite of the above I found myself still quite shocked when I received my results. Yes, I knew I had been deprioritising my health, but wow I didn’t think my cholesterol would be as f*cked as it was. When I was first diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia I had a total cholesterol level of 7.4 (very high for my age), but last I knew I was a lot healthier thanks to being on statins.
The first thing I did was call up my Doctor’s surgery to get my historic results and find out what the increase had been. Previously I would go to a clinic to do a test then hear nothing back from my Doctor. The lack of feedback loop had led me to assume everything was okay. After an 8 minute call (where I only had to disclose my name, not even DOB), I found out the lowest total cholesterol level I ever had was a respectable 3.8 (well in healthy range). They had fluctuated marginally since then up until my last test in late 2014 when I clocked a 4.8. My reading above however, shows that since that last test both my total cholesterol and LDL had gone up substantially to reach 7.1 and 4.9 respectively. Up until this point my weight and waistline had been the only indicators I had to go on regarding my health.
Since finding out my results I’ve become far more diligent about getting my repeat prescription filled out, and I’ve now set up auto ordering at my local boots. Apparently they text you when you should be finishing up your prescription and pre-order your new one in for collection. Hopefully now I won’t have the 2–3 week gap in between my statin treatment that has too often occurred.
I’ve also taken the plunge and finally registered at a new surgery near where I live in London. After 5 years of not actually living near my registered surgery I’m now just 5 minutes away. Sure, I’ll miss Dr Vella - but convenience comes at a cost — and a personal touch doesn’t cut the mustard. Should my next re-test with thriva not see an improvement in results, I know getting an appointment with my GP won’t be as much a pain as before.
Next steps for me are to start putting a bigger focus on diet. Its a tricky area trying to balance your macro nutrient intake. I want to reduce my waistline by carb cutting, but also need to not over consume on saturated fat given my cholesterol levels. The plan is to log everything I eat using the myfitnesspal app. By doing so I’ll hopefully build an understanding of which foods are right for me. I’ll update you on how this goes in the next post.